Thin bone (Osteopenia) disease in the elderly

Thin bone (Osteopenia) disease in the elderly

Thin bone meaning
Osteopenia or thin bones This is a condition in which the body has lower than normal bone density and mass. But not least to the extent that they will be diagnosed with osteoporosis. In general, people who experience this condition do not show any pain, a condition that is more common in females than males and is often found in people aged 50 years and over. But it can happen at other adolescence, depending on the strength of each person’s bones during adolescence. However, this condition can lead to osteoporosis as well. Patients should therefore take good care of their bone health.

Symptoms of Osteopenia
Osteopenia patients have lower bone mineral density. The patient’s bones are weaker than the general population. But will not break as easily as osteoporosis patients And patients often do not show any unusual symptoms or pain.

Causes of Osteopenia
The bone system contains osteoblast cells that regenerate bone from calcium and protein through the body’s growth process and to replace worn-out bones and there are bone dissolution cells, which are responsible for decomposing old bone as well. Osteopenia usually occurs when the body has bone breakdown rather than bone formation. This may be caused by an insufficient amount of calcium in the body.

There are a number of risk factors that can cause osteopenia, such as:

  • Gender, Women are more at risk of developing this condition than men. Because women have less bone mass Live longer and often do not get as much calcium as men.
  • Age, With increasing age a slow replacement for the worn part of the bone is possible. Causing bone mass to decrease especially for those over 50 years old.
  • Hormones, – Reducing the level of estrogen in women, like going through menopause, can be the cause of osteopenia. By women who entered menopause before the age of 45 or women who underwent ovarian removal surgery before menopause, It may be at risk of developing this condition as well. Men with lower testosterone levels are also more likely to develop this condition.
    Heredity, People with a family history of this condition are at risk of inheriting the condition.
  • Consumption behavior, Eating insufficient calcium or vitamin D foods to meet the body’s needs for bone formation and growth can lead to Osteopenia. Including drinking soft drinks, tea, coffee, or alcoholic beverages and smoking or other tobacco as well.
  • Diseases and illnesses such as eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, celiac disease, and hypothyroidism and Cushing syndrome, etc.
  • Use of certain drugs, Steroid drugs such as prednisolone and hydrocortisone, certain anticonvulsants, such as carbamazepine, gabapentin, and phenytoin, etc. Chemotherapy that requires radiation therapy can also be the cause of this condition.
  • Exercise behavior, People who do not exercise especially if lack exercise that focuses on stretching exercises, There may be a risk of this condition.

Osteopenia diagnosis
This is because people with Osteopenia do not usually show any symptoms that could be a sign of the condition. The doctor may recommend that people at risk of this condition have their bone mineral density checked. People at risk of developing osteopenia include women aged 65 or older, or women over 50, who have entered menopause earlier than usual and have other risk factors. Women in menopause who suffer fractures from normal everyday activities such as pushing to get out of chairs and seats or vacuuming. Men aged 50 and over with other risk factors, including those aged 50 and over who suffered fractures.

Generally, Bone density examination can be performed by radiography DEXA Scan. This is a method used to assess bone mineral density in areas such as the spine, hips, fingers, wrists, shins, or heels. This is a method that takes less time to scan. There is a low amount of radiation that enters the body during the scan and does not cause pain to the patient. The normal bone mineral density BMD is greater than -1.0, while osteopenia patients have a BMD between -1.0 and -2.5, while osteoporosis patients have lower BMD. -2.5

Osteopenia treatment
Treatment for osteopenia is to strengthen the bones and slow down the process of this condition to prevent and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis that follows. With the following methods

Health care and bone nourishment
Your doctor may recommend a diet high in calcium and vitamin D. Avoid smoking Don’t drink alcohol, soft drinks, or caffeinated beverages. As well as avoiding foods that are high in sodium. In addition, the patient should exercise in appropriate ways. Patients in early adulthood or pre-menopausal women may exercise by walking, running, or jumping for 30 minutes a day to build bone strength. But the elderly may choose to exercise in a lighter way to reduce the risk of falls, such as walking, swimming or cycling, etc. For those who exercise by lifting weights always talk to your doctor about safety before starting this activity.

Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements
Your doctor may recommend a calcium and vitamin D supplement. Which helps to strengthen the absorption of calcium to maintain bone mass at optimal levels. The patient may also be exposed to mild sunlight to increase the amount of vitamin D in the body. It may take 10-15 minutes, just two times a week.

Drug treatment
Generally, doctors don’t usually recommend medications to treat this condition. Because the patient has a small chance of fracture. However, if the bone mineral density is at a risk for osteoporosis. Your doctor may recommend drug medications that inhibit bone breakdown or increase bone density, such as alendronate, risedronate, ibandronate, and zoledronic acid drugs, etc. These drugs can have some side effects, such as gastrointestinal problems have joint and bone pain or feeling tired, etc.

Hormone boost
Your doctor may inject or give you drugs to increase the level of certain hormones. Such as estrogen, which is involved in bone formation. Which is often used to treat osteopenia in female patients who are postmenopausal or have had an ovarian resection. The body will not be able to produce normal levels of estrogen. However, this therapy may increase the risk of developing blood clots in the legs and lungs. Including other possible health problems.

Complications of Osteopenia
Osteopenia can lead to osteoporosis, Which can cause bone deterioration, fragility, deformation, or easily fracture It may also cause your height to drop, hunch over, or to have a forward posture and may have severe pain. In addition, the patient may suffer a fracture. This can happen if the bone is subjected to excessive impact. May cause pain and impaired performance and may cause bleeding or injury around the affected bone. In the case of having fractures in critical areas such as the spine or hip. May result in patients with disabilities and can be fatal.

Osteopenia prevention
People can prevent and reduce their risk of developing osteopenia by following these tips:

  • People over 65 years old should have a bone mineral density test.
  • Choose foods that are nutritious. Especially foods that are high in calcium, such as yogurt, cheese, milk, nuts, green vegetables such as kale, water mimosa, leaves, basil, spinach, broccoli. And foods high in vitamin D, such as liver, egg yolks, pumpkin meats, shiitake mushrooms, mackerel, and sardines. Including foods that contain both calcium and vitamin D, such as cereals, bread, salmon, and orange juice, etc., and foods high in vitamin D, such as liver, egg yolks, pumpkin meats, shiitake mushrooms, mackerel, and sardines. Including foods that contain both calcium and vitamin D, such as cereals, bread, salmon, and orange juice, etc.
  • Get the right amount of sunlight To help increase the amount of vitamin D for the body, For people with other health problems, talk to your doctor about sun exposure safety.
  • Be careful when using drugs Especially steroid drugs that must be used for a long time.
  • Exercise regularly without overdoing it. Those who exercise with weight lifting Should consult a doctor before starting to play. Including regular check-ups and the readiness of the body.
  • Avoid smoking, do not drink alcohol, soft drinks, and caffeinated beverages.

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